Despite today's news, the rendering of the Cape Girardeau casino has always included fireworks.
The Missouri Gaming Commission this morning announced that it has chosen Cape Girardeau
to receive the states 13th and final gaming license.
The southeastern Missouri city beat out competing bids from Kansas City and St. Louis. The latter called for a hotel and casino near the site of the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge that was to employ nearly 600 people.
That said, today's decision was hardly a surprise after a study by the Missouri Department of Economic Development
determined that the Cape Girardeau "Isle of Capri" casino would generate the most new gambling revenue for the state -- $76 million per year compared to $56 million and $21 million for the St. Louis and K.C. projects, respectively.
Here's an interesting caveat, though, with the Cape Girardeau casino. Yesterday Cape Girardeau confirmed that a petition drive had collected enough signatures to place a smoking-ban on the April ballot
Unlike St. Louis smoking bans, the proposed ban in Cape Girardeau would prohibit smoking inside casinos.
How such a ban could impact Cape Girardeau's new casino remains to be seen, but across the river in Illinois a smoking ban at casinos has cost the state millions in lost revenue. In fact, Illinois legislators are now pushing to exempt casinos
from the ban.